In his privilege speech at the House of Representatives Wednesday, CIBAC Partylist Representative Eddie Villanueva expressed his “opposition to the SOGIE bill.”
SOGIE Equality Bill will not promote equality
“SOGIE bill …will not promote equality but will, instead, unduly give special rights to some members of our society at the expense of the rights of other members and to the detriment of the social order in our community,” Villanueva said.
He recalled the incident involving trans woman Gretchen Custodio Diez in Quezon City’s Farmers Mall. He said that it is a “first taste” of how the SOGIE Equality Bill will affect our lives if the said bill was passed into law.
Undermines the role of parents
Villanueva said that the SOGIE Bill would affect as to how parents should play their role as chief guardians to their children. The bill would limit the parents’ authority to decide for their children’s lives especially when it comes to their gender identity and sexual preference.
Villanueva pointed out how the SOGIE Equality Bill would undermine “the role of parents in the family” as it requires parents to get a family court order first if they want their children to undergo any medical or psychological examination in relation to SOGIE.
Threatens academic freedom
Villanueva reasoned that the SOGIE Equality Bill would conflict with the practices and rules upheld by educational institutions. He added that all 13 versions of the SOGIE bill prohibit schools to deny educational access to students based on their gender identity or sexual preference.
“Will the purported law require above educational institutions to adjust their policies accordingly, thus forcing them to go against the very principles on which their institutions have been established?” Villanueva questioned.
Imperils freedom of speech and religion
Villanueva stressed that the SOGIE Equality Bill restricted freedom of speech and religion as it will make anyone accountable for any discriminatory speech or belief addressed to any member of the LGBT community.
“What happens to a Christian like me and to the majority of the people in this chamber if we are to be threatened by punishment every time we share our Bible-based beliefs on matters of transgenders and homosexuals?” Villanueva added.
Shakes the foundation of our laws
Villanueva said the SOGIE bill “puts into question the very foundation of our laws,” and it is “unfair and equally discriminatory” as the bill “upholds one sector’s perceived rights over the rights of other people”. He added that it would be a law of ‘preferential rights,’ a ‘class legislation”.
Bataan Rep urges lawmakers to focus on the objective of the SOGIE Equality bill
In response to Villanueva’s speech, Rep. Geraldine Roman, the first transgender congresswoman said:
“Let us not be carried away by extrapolations, nor by fear, nor by very far away scenarios from other countries, but rather focus on the essence and the objective of the bill which is simply to afford fellow Filipinos the same rights when it comes to work, to study, to receive services from the government, and to access commercial and public establishments, not to be insulted in the streets.”
Roman as a proud member of the LGBTQ community is “looking forward to working with Bro. Eddie Villanueva and the other so-called opponents of this bill, trying to look for a solution that will be respectful to all.”